You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16)
After I reached a memorable point of surrender to faith, I found myself thanking God over and over for opening my heart to him. I had been reviewing my selfish, sinful choices in life, and I felt so relieved that my life or the world had not ended before that surrender came. I had a sense that God had been waiting for me, and I felt very much like I mattered, a feeling that I had not experienced much before. Over the years, that thankfulness has not always remained present. As my same-sexual struggles have come and gone (and come again…), and new patterns of sin have emerged, I have grown weary of the fight, tired of trying, and I have wished my troubles would all go away. I have wanted to give up on people, on my faith, and on life.
I chose you (John 15:16). I do not believe that many of us as Christians are accustomed to focusing on this crucial fact. Instead, we make note of the day we turned our lives over to the Lord and ask each other, “When were you saved?” This seems like a reasonable question unless you think of it in reference to Jesus’ declaration. The truth is, we were saved when Jesus Christ died on the cross. It just takes us a while to accept that we did not get here on our own, we have no absolute control over what happens in our lives, and in the big picture, each one of us is no more than “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
Considering that Jesus chose each one of us to be in relationship with him, it becomes very difficult to talk about giving up. Only a fool would give up on someone or something that never fails. Jesus is standing by like a car that never needs maintenance and never needs fuel: just get in and turn the key, and it always runs, no matter how long it has been neglected. When it becomes difficult, as it inevitably will, to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12), remember that the Lord has made his choice and will not change his mind.
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